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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im planning on adding bluray to mt htpc shortly.


I've been trolling some threads but im still confused what software i need.


i plan to get a new graphics card, but i might see what my integrated graphics/cpu does with it first.


but as far as software goes, i realize i need playback software, but do i need another software too? I don't pan to rip any to my hard drive, either.


Also currently i have a dolby/dts 5.1 (6.1 simulated) receiver that is 4 years old, it doesn't have and hdmi input. right now im passing spdif 5.1 to it. Whenever it dies I'll upgrade to something else, so a little future proofing may be good. I'm not an audiophile, but i want it to sound good. Do i need to do anything there?
 

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The 4500HD is not the best out there but it certainly is capable. No need to spend more money if you don't want to.

When you buy a drive, there will be some version of some software included with it.

eg. LG GGC-H20L (Blu-Ray/HD-DVD) comes with PowerDVD 7. Somewhere on this website is a thread where people applied a patch from the manufacturer and it turned this included player into a full retail version. So if you are lucky you might not need to buy anything else beyond the drive itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so what does the anydvd software do that i keep seing posted do?
 

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Mike.

Since AFAIK your TV is a 720p model why do you want to play 1080i or 1080p BR dvds and throw away 1/2 of the content detail so they can be displayed at 720p. I would suggest just use standard less expensive DVDs instead.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford /forum/post/16903230


Mike.

Since AFAIK your TV is a 720p model why do you want to play 1080i or 1080p BR dvds and throw away 1/2 of the content detail so they can be displayed at 720p. I would suggest just use standard less expensive DVDs instead.

It still makes a big difference. I have a 720p TV and a 720p projector (limited budget). Its a big step up from 480i/p to 720p compared with 720p to 1080p.

I have a 2.35:1 CIH with my projector and friends can't believe its only 720 and not 1080. I am resisting all calls to step up to a 1080 setup; lol.

Someday soon, hopefully.


AnyDVD is protection removal program. More info.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 /forum/post/16902931


so what does the anydvd software do that i keep seing posted do?

Anydvd hd removes DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray copy protection. If you only ever plan on playing back from the disc using official blu-ray playback software and your equipment is hdcp compliant, then theoretically you shouldn't need it. That's all nice in theory but I bet there are plenty here who still need anydvd hd when playing certain titles from the disc. If you ever plan on ripping them, then you will definitely need anydvd hd. I think it is well worth the money, but I always rip the titles I buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by walford /forum/post/16903230


Mike.

Since AFAIK your TV is a 720p model why do you want to play 1080i or 1080p BR dvds and throw away 1/2 of the content detail so they can be displayed at 720p. I would suggest just use standard less expensive DVDs instead.

???



You could look at it it as why would i waste half my tvs resolution on sd dvds...


720p looks far superior to 480 IMO...


hell, even 720p mkvs look far superior to sd dvds...


you also have to remember that its very hard to tell the difference between a 1080 picture and a 720 on screen 50" and lower... especially over the 10ft range.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslide /forum/post/16903313


Anydvd hd removes DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray copy protection. If you only ever plan on playing back from the disc using official blu-ray playback software and your equipment is hdcp compliant, then theoretically you shouldn't need it. That's all nice in theory but I bet there are plenty here who still need anydvd hd when playing certain titles from the disc. If you ever plan on ripping them, then you will definitely need anydvd hd. I think it is well worth the money, but I always rip the titles I buy.

I find AnyDVD-HD necessary because I still play HD-DVDs and the latest PDVD 7.3 is unusable for them due to an audio issue. If I roll back to an earlier version, HD-DVDs play but the latest BD+ Blu-rays will not ... unless I use AnyDVD-HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdunnill /forum/post/16906045


I find AnyDVD-HD necessary because I still play HD-DVDs and the latest PDVD 7.3 is unusable for them due to an audio issue. If I roll back to an earlier version, HD-DVDs play but the latest BD+ Blu-rays will not ... unless I use AnyDVD-HD.


what about sound quality? I read lot of things about bitstreaming and such but i have no experience with any of it, do i need to be concerned with audio?
 

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You need a Bluray drive and like others have said some of the drives come with Power DVD 7.3 which is what I use. For $70 more you can download Arcsoft's Total Media Theaer 3 and get integration into Windows Media Center.


As for sound, you can utilize the new Bluray surround sound formats if you use the analog outputs from your computer into your receiver (if it has multichannel inputs.)


What kind og receiver do you have? How many speakers? 2, 5.1, 7.1 ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morphyne /forum/post/16906618


You need a Bluray drive and like others have said some of the drives come with Power DVD 7.3 which is what I use. For $70 more you can download Arcsoft's Total Media Theaer 3 and get integration into Windows Media Center.


As for sound, you can utilize the new Bluray surround sound formats if you use the analog outputs from your computer into your receiver (if it has multichannel inputs.)


What kind og receiver do you have? How many speakers? 2, 5.1, 7.1 ?

its a Yamaha, I'm at work so im not sure of the model number, im also not sure of the analog inputs, although they may be there.


i have 5.1 speakers. the receiver will simulate 6.1 if its available, i noticed that some of my dvds do that... like the LOTR extended versions.


If i had a BR standalone, i would still only be able to use spdif, i guess i'll worry about the better audio options when i get a new receiver.


I'm really just looking to get the better picture quality now, but I'm trying to educate myself on BR video and audio, so when the time comes i can make some decisions.
 

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dvdfab is an excellent alternative to anydvd HD. it has a free trial that lets you rip full discs (both dvd and bd) but won't let you compress to over sizes. no trial period. i've used it for a year now.


if you rip a bd, you can open it just like an actual disc with TMT or you can find the .m2ts file (main movie is usually one massive .m2ts file in the streaming folder) and play that one just fine.


a bd standalone can have hdmi, spdif (digial optical), coaxial or component outs. it all depends on what the manufacture produced. heck, could even have analog output.
 

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Since you already have a half decent HTPC, my suggestion is to get the LG drive (or whatever brand you decide on) and they rent/buy a few disks and see how it works. If pretty much all is good, I would stop there.


Here is the thing though: don't spend TOO much on the retail to get the OEM software.


I personally was able to pick up my h20l for $80 shipped off of ebay when they were selling for $140 on newegg. You can pick up WinDVD 9 pls bluray for $40-60 if you shop around. If you can get an oem with 7.3, then definitely try to get that working.


I wouldn't install AnyDVD HD until you know for 100% that you will need it? Why? Because it only comes with a 21 day trial. You can save alot if you wait for that.


Now don't get me wrong. I love my AnyDVD HD and I use it to rip movies to my server and fix an occasional problem... though it isn't the 100% fix all that some claim it is. Just last week, I had to disable it in order to play back Indy 4 on Bluray. It worked with it off... but not with it on.


The only thing I would really consider ... eventually would be a $30 video card perhaps from ATI. I recently picked up a near silent cheap HD3650 off of newegg for $34-10rebate... shipped. My friend at work needed a new card for his computer so his son could play Grid. I couldn't believe how well it does with that and HD playback even though it is only GDDR2 and not GDDR3. It can't match my HD4830, but seems not that far off the HD2600XT in my HTPC which is supposedly better.


Even the HD4350 are getting good reviews for HD playback.


But again. I would get a drive first. Then a combination of software and hardware. Just don't be penny wise and dollar foolish.


I considered getting an HDMI 7.1 receiver at first. I stuck with me Ol' Onkyo 304. I used to use optical out to the unit and it did well. I went HD DVD first and picked up an A3/A2 and HD805 (XA2 clone). I found that analog out is really good and not really much of a drop (if at all) below bitstreaming. Furthermore, it eliminates many of the problems that can arise such as syncing and other issues. One person made a point a few months ago, that some disks/software will send the feature out bitstream, but not some of the side features. Most receivers have atleast a 5.1 in and many have a 7.1 in.


In the end, the digital audio eventually has to be changed into analog for our ears. Pushing it out analog from the HTPC gives you another layer of control on the sound as well.


Best of luck and have fun... making these decisions on your personal approach is all part of the funn.... or anguish depending how you look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
newegg has the lite-on 4x BD drives for $57 OEM and $69 retail, both free shipping... is there a difference? I cant tell from the specs if one comes with software or not... but teh reviews indicate they both do...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 /forum/post/16909567


newegg has the lite-on 4x BD drives for $57 OEM and $69 retail, both free shipping... is there a difference? I cant tell from the specs if one comes with software or not... but teh reviews indicate they both do...

You can never tell by those reviews. Some say they do.... then some say they didn't. If I got the OEM for $12 less and didn't get the software... I would kick myself.


ACtually, the first review of the OEM says "no sofware included to play blu ray"


Newegg is giving you free PowerDVD with the Sony for a limited time it says


Again if you need more than stereo, I would just disregard the OEM anyway unless you intend to hack it.


Here is another review


"Cons: Doesn't burn Blu-Ray. Included software only plays in stereo (I bought the $72 PowerDVD Ultra on Newegg to get surround). "


That is one heck of a deal... they have really dropped in price.
 
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